Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Season of Double Osprey

Laughing Gull
There are several Laughing Gulls in the lower stretch of the Neck river.  I Haven't seen them around until now and I seem to remember that they show up mid summer.  I don't know if they are migrating or just straying farther from nesting grounds.

I'm a third of a mile up the Neck River before I spot the first Willet.  I spot the 2nd Willet when I am halfway up Bailey Creek to the entrance of the Sneak.  I see no Willets in the Sneak, which is a first for this summer.  When I reenter the East River, Great Blue Herons are outnumbering Willets 4 to 2.

This is the Double Osprey Season.  Now that the young are all flying, if one was used to seeing ten Osprey, you would now be seeing twenty.  It happens in a short period of time, so it does get your attention if you are visiting the marsh on a regular basis.  There are six Osprey circling around near Cedar Island as I write.  There is a lot of whistling going on everywhere.  Osprey calls are usually a hoarse whistle.
Green Heron
I flush some Yellow-Legs and then resume paddling up the East River. 
The tall spartina is putting out its seed.
Above the highway bridge I start to see Kingfishers on occasion.  More of them now than earlier in the summer.  At the small cedar swamp just down from Foote Bridge I spot a pair of Green Herons.  On my way out I flush a third near the Duck Hole Farms and a fourth in the Big Bends.  The fourth one tries to be counted more than once, but I am wise to its hokum. 

When I take out I have a nice talk with a University of Connecticut researcher.  She has a small patch of ground marked out in the salt marsh where she counts, observes and tracks marsh birds.  I share some of my more anecdotal observations, which she finds interesting because she hasn't paddled up the river past her research plot.  She tells me that the Yellow-Legs nest farther north and they are here migrating through.  She thinks the Willets might have moved to the shore although there might be a few around that are either young or still have chicks to tend.

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